Summary: The final sermon in this series leading to understanding God’s principles
THE TRUST TEST (PART 2)
"The man of pseudo faith will fight for his verbal creed but refuse flatly to allow himself to get into a predicament where his future must depend upon that creed being true. He always provides himself with secondary ways of escape so he will have a way out if the roof caves in. What we need very badly these days is a company of Christians who are prepared to trust God as completely now as they know they must do at that last day." A.W. Tozer
Take An Inventory
Recognize God As Your Source
Understand God’s Principles
We’ll review those in a moment.
S Surrender everything to God.
T Test God’s Promises.
Let’s look at the principles that God has for us. These are all, by the way, kingdom principles. These are principles that the Christian understands and hopefully obeys, but that the world does not understand. Are you ready?
Understand God’s Principles
1. The "Who’s in Charge" Principle
God is the owner; I’m the manager. Every resource, every blessing I have today is a gift of God’s.
2. The "Give and Grow" Principle
Practicing stewardship will produce growth in all areas of our life.
3. The "Do it Now" Principle
Stewardship deals with our present resources. Not what I had, not what I will have, but God is asking me today, "John, what are you doing with your gifts and your abilities that you have right now?"
4. The "I’m in Debt" Principle
From the moment we are born, we are debtors. The Apostle Paul said, "I am a debtor." Basically saying that I’ve come into this world already given many blessings, and I am now responsible to return as many as those blessings as I possibly can."
5. The "Fountain of Youth" Principle
We live forever through our giving. As we give of our talent, our tithe, our time, it’s the only thing that lasts forever.
Here’s where the writing begins.
6. The Who’s Number One? Principle. Matthew 22:36-38
God Deserves The First of Everything.
There’s a tendency, instead of giving Him our best, our first, for us to give Him our leftovers. Jesus was asked one time," Teacher, what is the most important commandment in the law? And Jesus answered, "Love the Lord your God with all your mind, soul, and strength. That is the first and most important commandment."
Take your pen out and write down Proverbs 3:9. The Proverbs writer said, "Honor the Lord with your possessions and the first fruit of all your increase." I Corinthians 16:2, "On the first day of the week, let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he or she may prosper." God tells us that we are to give Him the first, not the last of everything. Now, our tendency is to give God what’s left over. Now, that’s just human. Our human tendency is to take our possessions and kind of take care of ourselves. And if there’s anything left over, "Well, sure, God. I’ll take care of you." My 14 year old son, Joel Porter, kind of has a job this year. So he got his first "official" paycheck. And, boy, was he thrilled. I mean he came home, he showed me that paycheck, and then he marched into the room where Mom was. And he looked at Margaret and said, "You know, I’m not sure I can afford to tithe." Now, I thought, "How typical of us." Isn’t it? He’s got more money in his hand than he’s ever had in his entire life, and what happens? Greed sets in. Come on now. And all of a sudden, "You know what, I could use this, and I could take it over here."
And I thought out of the mouth of a 14yearoldboy, true to nature, comes this whole question of, Where do I put God? Is He first? Is He second? Is He fifth? Is He 25th? Is He 23rd in my life? Let me ask you a question. Where is God in your life right now? Now, the Lord said, "Where your treasure is, that’s where your heart is." He basically said, "I can tell you what you love, if you just let me see your checkbook and your calendar." He says, "I can basically tell what your priorities are in your life."
7. The Cheerful Attitude Principle.
Stewardship begins with loving, not giving.
Paul said what? "God loves a cheerful giver." I have found that...
We can give without loving, but we cannot love without giving.
Love has to be the foundation. If love is not the foundation of my relationship with God, I’m always going to have a problem. You see,
Love asks: "How much can I give? "